b LED ing red for your Redbook CDs?

Hello fellow "goners". Forgive the title, I was trying to be cute and witty.

Basically, I am in the process of upgrading my system. I have just bought a new pre-amp/amplifier combinatiion, specifically a Classe CP-50 preamp and a couple of Monarchy Audio SM-70 Pro amps. Over the past few days which I have had them set up, I have been quite pleasantly surprised by the improvements in sound clarity, detail, warmth, imaging, pace, rhythm and timing; even when running them from my HT DVD player(Denon DVD-2930) to my entry level B&W 601 series II speakers. I think this Classe/Monarchy Audio pre-power combo has some great potential, and plan to keep them as they sound great and look fabulous together. Very important.

Anyway, that leaves me to upgrade both my speakers and my digital source, and since this is the "digital" forum, I will of course not ask about speakers here. Or maybe just in passing. LOL! ;-)

I was thinking about going with Totem Arro's(which I have never heard) for speakers as I believe they have a nice "soulful" quality about them with unbelievable soundstage and imaging, along with good clarity, detail and some nice warmth. They also have a small footprint, great for my tiny apartment, and relatively good frequency response, compared to my bookshelf B&Ws.

Anyway, I was looking to upgrade with a nice, good CD player, but am not sure where to look, or which way to go.

I am on a severly limited budget(I don't want to put a specific figure because I like to buy bargains at whatever price they are found, but $1K used for a CD player sounds pretty good to me), but want a good player with a clear and detailed but "musical" sound as compared to my Denon DVD which sounds slightly thin, etched, tinny, and maybe a bit on the analytical side being too transparent. I want something maybe a bit more smooth and silky, analog, dynamic, and not so "digital" so to speak. Not to say that it sounds bad; just not great, holographic and voluptuous, emotionally engaging. I guess I should point out that I like to listen mostly to classical orchestral music. Big scale Wagner, Mahler, Tchaikovsky, Bruckner and Beethoven, even some choral music of Bach, etc. I want that dynamic visceral experience when listening to, "feeling" great music.

Also, it is very important that my electronics be aesthetically appealing the me. This is basically the premise of this post. I want a black chassis, with a red LED display. I wish to run my zero-feedback amps and preamp in balanced mode using XLR connectors so balanced outputs would be desirable.

I have seen some of the Classe CD players, probably the older ones which are black with red LED's, but frankly the off-centered design bothers me a little(I like symmetry) and I haven't had a chance to hear any of their CD players.

I have heard that for under a thousand bucks, Rega players are some of the best for the money. Either the Apollo or maybe a Jupiter, Jupiter 2000, Planet 2000, or even the original Planet CDP. I believe they are available in black with a red LED display, but I think they only have single-ended RCA outputs, along with the digital coaxial of course. And the top-loaded design is fine. I am somewhat skeptical about the sound however. Maybe I need a good turntable... oops, that's for another post isn't it, sorry.

I have also thought that if these Rega players had a good transport, then I could get an external DAC with balanced outputs to hook up to my Classe preamp. But I don't know enough about the mechanics of CD players, Rega in particular to settle on a player for the quality of the transport. And to complicate the matter even more, I don't know if I will want to use my computer for audio playback at a later time.

Anyway, if you have read this far, I would really appreciate your recommendations on a good player meeting my criteria. Anything at any price point would be fine as I am willing to save for a while to get what I want within my narrow framework of desires. I have looked at Meridian 808 reference, dCS P8i and some others as I think it's always nice to dream. Again, any input would be very much appreciated and I thank you for putting up with my ramblings here.

BTW, my title is supposed to mean something like seeing red or bleeding red LED's for your redbook CDs. Get it? I hope it was cute, witty and intriguing.

Let me know, thanks.

the Audio Obsessed Novice
Part of the reason few players use red LEDs is they are very hard to see in most rooms. The Regas are nice players, warm and musical. If you can tolerate another display color check out the Vincent tube hybrid players.
I'm the same way, except for me it's Blue LED's. You can get brighter red LED's and swap them out directly (probably have to solder, though). As an example, this computer I am using now - I swapped the HD light from dim red to bright blue.