Audio Research CD5 vs McIntosh MCD500?

I have the opportunity of grabbing any of these at a very good price, I have heard the McIntosh but not the ARC. Any suggestion? Thanks
Rapet, I own the ARC REF CD-8, which is based on similar technology as the CD-5 -- at least respect to the DAC. I think my CD-8 sounds great, but I cannot in good faith recommend ARC over the MAC. The reason is I have no idea how either piece will sound to you in YOUR system.

OTOH, if your linestage/preamp is ARC that is an important fact that weighs in favor of the CD-5. Reason: system synergy. In my opinion, ARC gear seems to simply integrate and work well with each other -- no surprise.

Perhaps if you list the rest of your equipment, particularly your linestage/preamp, other members may have some views.

In the end, I think most would agree the choice should be made on what sounds best to you in your system.
Thanks, the funny thing is that I have a pre/amp McIntosh (C48 and MC252) and pre/amp ARC (L17 and VS115). The first one all transistors, the second all tubes. I use both of them depending on music and mood as I find them quite different. However I do not want to use two players, my idea is to get one and connect it to both systems (using XLR and RCA)...There is my dilema...
Uuuhhmm, interesting dilemna. If you check my system, I also own the VS-115. Some say it's very close in sound quality to the now discontinued Ref 110.

If you lean more to using the ARC gear, then my bias (sic) would be to go with the CD-5 for the inherent synergy alone. In addition, you may want to consider calling ARC about whethet the LS 17 can be upgraded to the SE version. I understand that ARC upgraded the Ref 5 and Ref Phono 2 to SE versions, which are based on Ref 40 technology. Many have said that the improvement is significant!

Also, if you haven't switched out your power tubes in the VS 115 to KT-120s yet, you're missing an easy tweak that can make a big difference. ARC charges $100 per tube. I know this is a controversial issue, but I have been satisfied using Upscale Audio in California. They charge $45 per tube. Their testing and tube matching process is impressive.

Bottom line: if you go the ARC route, and upgrade the LS 17 to the SE version, switch out your VS-115 tubes to KT-120s, I think the CD-5 will be a prefect fit. I think you will have a knock out system - IMHO!!

Let us know what you decide to do.
Yes, I have the KT120 and do not intend to upgrade to the SE version as I believe is not a clear sonic improvement. I listened to it with a similar amplifier and same speakers (SF Cremonas) and did not notice anything special, in fact, it has less gain than the old version (6 dB vs. 12dB).

My only concern about the CD5 is that is way more limited than the MCD500, since this one has digital inputs, can be used as a preamp, and reads SACD. I have about 50 SACDs and my collection keeps increasing as I believe that is a big sonic improvement. It is very weird why ARC still thinks that SACD does not worth a new player. It is obviously superior.

After being almost dead, the SACD format is living a reinassance since some labels are releasing new titles, for instance EMI just announced that they will remaster part of their catalog to SACD.